Post updated on 09 January 2022
2020 was a year in which our lives changed a lot to our lives and our experiences.
I won’t analyse the whole situation, but as this is a travel blog, I think I have an obligation to update you about the situation in Greece regarding coronavirus and what measures Greece has taken regarding tourism even if traveling might not be a priority for now.
I am going to update this post as often as possible and I am also going to answer your questions, so feel free to ask me in the comments and I will add the information to the post.
I will try to use official information and I will put sources as this is a very important subject.
In this post, you will find
- What is the situation right now with the coronavirus cases?
- What do you need to know before travelling to Greece?
- What are the local measures now?
- What are the vaccination metrics in Greece as of today?
What is the situation right now with the coronavirus cases?
As of 09 January 2022, Greece reports 1.507.616 cases and 21.394 deaths. More information about the daily statistic you can find on the Worldometer website here.
On 09/01/2022, 18.592 new coronavirus cases were announced and 66 new deaths.
What should I know before travelling to Greece?
Entry rules in response to coronavirus (COVID-19)
If you’re travelling from the UK or anywhere else in the world, you will need:
- To have completed a Passenger Locator Form (PLF) before arrival in Greece. The form is required regardless of the means of transport you use to travel to Greece (including by ferry, road, rail or air);
You will also need one of the following:
- Proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test, undertaken within the 72 hour period before arrival into Greece; or
- Proof of a negative COVID-19 rapid antigen test from an authorised laboratory, undertaken within the 24 hour period before your arrival into Greece
These requirements are compulsory for all travellers aged 5 and above. The test provider must be certified by the competent national certification authority of the country in which you received the test, and must provide you with a certificate of your test result, in Greek, English, French, German, Italian, Spanish or Russian. The certificate must include the name of the person, as stated on the passport.
In addition, arrivals into Greece may be required to undergo a rapid COVID-19 test on arrival. If you test positive on arrival in Greece, you (and those you are travelling with) will have to self-isolate in quarantine hotels provided by the Greek state. The length of time you need to self-isolate depends on your vaccination status. See ‘Coronavirus’ page for details of what to do if you test positive for COVID-19 while in Greece. You should also be aware that if other passengers on your flight, bus, train or ferry later test positive, you may be subject to self-isolation requirements. These will be mandatory and you should comply with the Greek authorities’ requirements.
From 6am local time (GMT +2) on 24 December the Greek government also “strongly recommends” that you take either a certified rapid test, or certified PCR test on both days 2 and 4 after arrival in Greece.
Check Greek authorities’ advice for further information, including guidance on filling out the Passenger Locator Form and the latest list of countries from which travel to Greece is permitted.
Additionally, further to the discovery of the omicron variant, if you are travelling from Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia, and Zimbabwe, you will only be allowed to enter Greece for essential reasons, and if you:
- Present a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of arrival;
- Secure approval from the Greek Embassy/Consulate in (or that covers) the country you are travelling from.
You will also have to take a rapid test on arrival, and complete 10 days compulsory quarantine, which will conclude upon completion of a further PCR test (with a negative result).
Additional restrictions on entry by air
Air connections with Greece are liable to suspension or amendment, sometimes at short notice. If you are due to fly to or from Greece, you should contact your airline or operator for the latest information.
Additional restrictions on entry by land borders
Greece’s land borders are subject to restrictions at present. Monitor official information from the Greek authorities on any changes to border arrangements. Arrivals must have completed a Passenger Locator Form prior to travel. You should also refer to the ‘Coronavirus’ pages for details of how local or national measures may affect travel across land borders.
Passenger Locator Form
You must complete an online Passenger Locator Form (PLF) before arriving in Greece. The form is in English, and is required whichever way you travel to Greece (including by ferry, road, rail or air). Failure to do so in advance may result in your carrier not allowing you to travel, a 500 Euro fine on arrival or the Greek authorities not allowing you to enter or re-enter the country.
Every traveller, including children, must have their details included on a PLF. If you’re travelling with others outside of your household, you should all complete your own form. If you’re travelling together as a household, the Greek authorities ask for you to complete one form with all adults and children included. You can add additional members of your household at the top of the form before you submit.
Some airlines may require individual PLFs for every traveller over the age of 18 within the same household. Check directly with your airline what you will need to show to be allowed boarding.
Once you have completed the form, you will receive an email with a QR code. When you receive your code, make sure you either print it, or can show it on your mobile phone. If you are travelling by air to Greece, your airline will ask you to prove that you have completed the PLF form. You should print or show (e.g. on your phone) your email with the QR code you have received. Failure to do so could result in you being refused boarding to the flight.
If you are travelling by ferry to or from Greece, the ferry operator will ask you to complete an additional form (‘Pre Boarding Information’), alongside your PLF. This additional form will be provided by the ferry operator, either via their website, or at booking offices: you should contact them directly if you need further information. Temperature checks may also be carried out before boarding; and it is obligatory to wear masks on all ferries, where capacity is limited to allow for social distancing.
On arrival in Greece, you will need to show your QR code to the Greek authorities. Make sure you have either a printed copy of the code, or can show it on your phone. Failure to provide your PLF form/ QR code will result in a fine or you may be refused entry to Greece.
Source: UK Government
What are the local measures now?
Wearing a mask
The Greek government has announced that, from 6am on Friday 24 December, it will be mandatory to wear masks (either double surgical masks or N95 masks) in all indoor and outdoor public spaces, in all areas of Greece.
Public spaces and services
All restrictions remain under regular review. In Regional Units (περιφερειακές ενότητες) where the spread of COVID-19 is particularly high and hospital capacity is limited, restrictions may be tighter or re-imposed with limited notice. Check the latest local guidance and follow the advice of local authorities.
Only the most relevant measures to travellers are included below. You should keep up-to-date by checking this page regularly, and following local announcements.
As restrictions may vary, you should check the latest local guidance.
- Proof of vaccination is required to enter public spaces such as shops, restaurants (indoor and outdoor) and museums. You should be prepared to demonstrate your proof of vaccination and present ID (passport or Greek Residence card) when asked. If you are not fully vaccinated (including children), see Unvaccinated in Greece;
- You must use a facemask (double surgical mask or N65 mask) in all indoor and outdoor public and communal spaces, including work-places and on public transport;
- Restricted numbers are in place for churches and religious services;
- Unless all passengers are members of the same family, a maximum of 3 persons are permitted to travel in a taxi or other private vehicle with up to 7 seats, or 4 persons in a private vehicle with up to 9 seats;
- The Greek government “strongly recommends” that people self-test before any outing.
Demonstrating your COVID-19 status
Greece will accept the UK’s proof of COVID-19 recovery and vaccination record. It will also accept proof of COVID-19 vaccination issued in the Crown Dependencies. Your final vaccine dose must have been administered at least 14 days prior to you presenting your evidence of vaccination. Your NHS appointment card from vaccination centres is not designed to be used as proof of vaccination and should not be used to demonstrate your vaccine status.
Unvaccinated in Greece
If you have not been fully vaccinated or do not have proof of recovery from COVID-19:
- Travel by aeroplane, train and bus is allowed subject to either a certified negative PCR test in the last 72 hours before the scheduled time of arrival at destination, or to a certified rapid (antigen) test within 48 hours of scheduled arrival at destination;
- You will not be allowed to enter nightclubs, restaurants (indoors), theatres, cinemas, museums, exhibitions, conferences, gyms and stadiums;
- You must present proof of a negative rapid test, taken up to 48 hours before entry, to visit other public spaces including shops and restaurants (outdoors);
- Failure to comply with these rules may be met with fines of up to €5,000;
- Unvaccinated children (between the ages 4 and 18) require a negative self-test to enter public spaces such as shops, restaurants (indoor and outdoor) and museums
From 13 December 2021, if you are 60 years old or over and more than 7 months have passed since your second vaccination dose and you have not received a third dose, Greece considers your vaccination status expired. This does not affect entry to Greece (see Entry requirements), but domestic ‘unvaccinated’ measures will apply within Greece.
Travel in Greece
Travel within Greece between Regional Units is permitted subject to adherence to public health measures as outlined above. You must wear a mask at all times on all public transport.
Cross-regional travel is allowed for mainland Greece and the islands of Lefkada, Evia and Salamina (use of self-tests ahead of travel is strongly recommended but is not mandatory).
Cross-regional travel by air and sea to the rest of Greece is permitted for those aged 12 and above but only with either:
- proof of vaccination and 14 days since second dose; or
- a negative result from a PCR test carried out up to 72 hours prior to travel; or
- a negative result from a certified rapid test up to 48 hours before travel; or
Children aged 5 to 11, can travel with a negative self-test taken up to 24 hours before the scheduled travel time.
If you are travelling by internal (domestic) flights, specific measures relating to check-in, baggage allowances and other details are in place to reduce the spread of coronavirus. You should check with your operator directly for further detail.
All hotels are permitted to open, and other types of accommodation, including e.g. Airbnb, private rentals and hostels, are also available. However, you should note that many operators are likely to reduce their offer and close some accommodation during the winter months, particularly in light of measures put in place by the Greek authorities to fight the spread of COVID-19. You should check directly with your accommodation provider in case of related concerns.
Healthcare in Greece
If you think you have symptoms, including a fever or respiratory difficulties such as shortness of breath or a cough, you should avoid visiting local health facilities, but contact a doctor remotely to see whether a test is recommended. There is likely to be a cost associated with this, for call out, examination and testing, which you will have to pay.
If you are staying in a hotel or resort, your accommodation provider will have a list of private doctors that they will call to assess your symptoms and conduct a COVID-19 test.
If you have arranged your own accommodation you can find details of English speaking, private doctors on our list of healthcare providers.
If you are tested and the result is positive, the Greek authorities will ask you to quarantine until advised otherwise. You may be able to remain in your existing accommodation, or be required to transfer into a state hospital or other government-provided accommodation. Costs related to transfer to alternative accommodation and treatment at state healthcare facilities will be covered by the Greek Government. The nature of your accommodation may differ from the specifications of your pre-booked hotel, villa or other place of stay. Depending on local arrangements, travellers in groups may be required to stay in separate accommodation (e.g. if a sufficient number of rooms is not available in one venue, your group may be spread across different accommodation locations).
Source: UK Government
What are the vaccination metrics in Greece as of today?
- 7.5441.710 Vaccinated with at least one dose (72,3%)
- 17.847.989 doses
- 7.094.507 2 doses vaccinated (68%)
- 3.934.769 3rd dose vaccinated
If you have any specific question, please leave me a comment and I will reply as soon as possible.